To examine postoperative reports of infection rates for eye bank-prepared and non–eye bank-prepared corneas from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2017, from a single eye bank.
A retrospective review of reported fungal and bacterial infections with corneal transplant surgeries using corneas distributed by our eye bank was conducted. The reported number of infections for corneas that underwent eye bank preparation (pre-cut and pre-stripped corneas) and for those distributed without eye bank preparation was quantified. The potential association between infection rates in tissue prepared by the eye bank and those in corneas that had no additional eye bank processing was also examined.
Four of 17,035 corneas distributed during the study period were associated with fungal infections (1 eye bank-prepared and 3 non–eye bank-prepared corneas) and were attributed to the tissue after investigation by eye bank medical directors. There was no ascending trend of infections reported with eye bank-prepared corneas in the first 3 years (2 of 1054 corneas, 0.19%) compared with that in the last 3 years of the study period (6 of 3500 corneas, 0.17%; P = 0.901) when the eye bank distributed 3 times more prepared corneas than non–eye bank-prepared corneas. A significant increase in the numbers of reported infections for non–eye bank-prepared corneas was observed between these 3-year intervals (0.1% in the first 3 years to 1.58% in the last 3 years; P = 0.001).
Reports of infections remained low despite increased use of eye bank-prepared tissue. These results suggest that factors other than eye bank tissue preparation should be considered when investigating potential sources of pathogen contamination in donor corneas.
*Lions VisionGift, Portland, OR; and
†Cornea Services, Devers Eye Institute, Portland, OR.
Correspondence: Khoa D. Tran, PhD, Lions VisionGift, 2201 SE 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214 (e-mail: Khoa@VisionGift.org).
The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.
Received August 22, 2018
Accepted November 09, 2018